Death Toll of COVID-19 on Asian Americans: Disparities Revealed

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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has underscored the structural inequities facing communities of color and its consequences in lives lost. However, little is known about the COVID-related disparities facing Asian Americans amidst the heightened racism and violence against this community. We analyze the mortality toll of COVID-19 on Asian Americans using multiple measures. In 2020, one in seven Asian American deaths was attributable to COVID-19. We find that while Asian Americans make up a small proportion of COVID-19 deaths in the USA, they experience significantly higher excess all-cause mortality (3.1 times higher), case fatality rate (as high as 53% higher), and percentage of deaths attributed to COVID-19 (2.1 times higher) compared to non-Hispanic Whites. Mounting evidence suggest that disproportionately low testing rates, greater disease severity at care presentation, socioeconomic factors, and racial discrimination contribute to the observed disparities. Improving data reporting and uniformly confronting racism are key components to addressing health inequities facing communities of color.




Yan, B. W., Hwang, A. L., Ng, F., Chu, J. N., Tsoh, J. Y., & Nguyen, T. T. (2021, November 1). Death Toll of COVID-19 on Asian Americans: Disparities Revealed. Journal of General Internal Medicine. Springer.

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